Can England win Twice today in Wales?

March 16, 2013

Back to business. Enough of these holiday tours  – let’s get back to the norm and the good old Premier League. You know – that league which used to be the best in the world but has now , according to the meedja fallen behind France, Turkey, Germany and Spain.

Swansea have booked their place in Europe, our place remains in doubt. Will that mean that our Welsh friends will gift us the 3 points? I hope so. A couple of defensive mistakes caused by a boozy night out in Newport would be great (which assumes our heroes can capitalise on them!)

There has been talk of the confidence gained from the surprising win in Munich boosting our chances of 4th. What do you think? My fear is that the effort put into that win could be costly today; every Arsenal player ran himself into the ground on Wednesday and that must have an effect.

A major positive was the return of Fabianski. I have to be honest, I had written him of and expected him to leave quietly in summer. Instead we saw one of Fab’s best performances in an Arsenal shirt. He will surely keep his place today and perhaps, just perhaps, we have the competition for the Number One shirt within the club – who would have thought it?


A Star in the Making?

Jenkinson showed that Mr Wenger can still spot a a bargain – a million for him is a steal, we will see much of The Corporal in the future as he cements his place at Arsenal and also the England team.

Furthermore, Ramsey is becoming an important player. We didn’t miss JW as our Welsh Wizard plugged gaps all over the pitch. They are very different players and it will be interesting over the coming seasons to see how both can fit into the team.  Add in the refreshing cameo from Oxlade Chamberlain  – admittedly against a tiring defence – and we can see a young and highly talented New Arsenal developing.

As THMT would say “The Spirit of the Thirties is rising”

And what of Swansea? Who can not be delighted by their progress? No big names, no big signings, an untried (at PL) manager; they have had a wonderful trophy-winning season and could yet derail ours. At season’s start it would have been inconceivable that Swansea could take 6 points from us, and yet, they beat us at home and deserved to do so. No-one would be shocked by them winning today, such has been their improvement..

My Team:

swans v arse

I would not be surprised to see Gervinho start, nor Ox given the energy spent midweek.

BFG was our MoM in Munich and perhaps could use a break but something untoward is happening with Vermaelen. There is a story brewing …….

Our English Explorer: Rocky has suggested Richard Burton – so let’s take a look at the fellow. Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) was born in Torquay. This is an extraordinary man, a truly extraordinary man. To begin with Burton could speak 29 languages! Yes, 29! He was an explorer, an author, a diplomat, a spy, a cartographer, a translator and an International fencer.

Let’s start here …… Burton disguised himself in order to go to Mecca  to translate the Arabian Nights story, the account of his trip made him famous. He also translated the Karma Sutra and published it for the first time in England – and to think this was during the Victorian age of strict attitudes to all things sexual. Burton’s published interest in sex and sexuality led to his being prosecuted by the Society for the Suppression of Vice (lovely ….they would be busy at Stamford Bridge!)


Full Set ….. Knighthood

As an explorer Burton undertook a Royal Geographical funded mission to Somalia and later to find the source of the Nile with fellow explorer (and an old BR subject) John Speke. They reached and named Lake Victoria (now Tanganyika) but quarrelled badly about the route and split up. The rancour between them led  to a very public spat in a London where they were both feted. Speke later died in a shooting accident whilst Burton joined the Foreign Office. He became Consul in West Africa, Brazil, Damascus and Trieste.

Burton was Knighted and died in Trieste at the age of 69. To those interested I recommend further investigation of a fascinating man.

Today we will play a team with a similar style to our own. Laudrup has continued Rodgers principals of attractive free-flowing passing football. Much has been made of the Dane becoming a target as Wenger’s successor – his contract extension does nothing to dampen the rumours.

Just after our game ends the England Rugby team will be down the road in Cardiff trying to win the Grand Slam, good luck to them.

We need the points more than they do, so let’s get busy and take them.


Written by Big Raddy

Home Kit 2013/4

December 1, 2012

Who would have though Swansea at home would be approached with some trepidation?  Not me and I guess not you either.

Have we cause for concern? Swansea play attacking football and at their own ground can be formidable, as we found out last season (3-2 loss). The bookies make us 4/9 favorites, so they think we will win but Swansea are on a fine run – just one loss in 9 games and they have just beaten WBA, no mean feat.

Cyberspace has been full of irate Gooners wanting “their Arsenal back” over the past week, a protest which will continue today with the BS March. Good luck to them if their protest results in a change of attitude at Board level but I fear the management will turn a deaf ear. Think Leveson Inquiry and David Cameron. There is no profit in change and until there is nothing will happen.


Lord Leveson sporting next season’s home kit

It should be an exciting game this afternoon; two teams committed to attack. A Swansea side with Michu, Routlege, Hernandez and Dyer to test our defence and Theo etc enjoying the open spaces of the Emirates. Swansea are unlikely to parcio ar y bws (I once had a welsh wife). Thankfully Hernandez is injured – he has been in excellent form. Michu has scored 9 already this season. Dyer at 24 has finally grown up and looks dangerous; with the need for a new winger looming AW may be tempted.

Much is made on these shores of Michael Laudrup, he is football royalty. Alongside Schmeichel he is consider the best Danish footballer ever, and it should be recalled that in 2000 Spanish fans voted him the best foreigner ever to play in Spain which is some compliment . He has made a good start at Swansea, but  a brilliant footballer does not always make a brilliant manager (Bobby’s Charlton & Moore, Maradona, Pele, Gazza! etc). Time will tell but Micky has Laudrup as the next AFC manager and from a purely personal viewpoint I would be very happy with that (every AFC game would be shown here).

My Team:

arse v swans

My hope is that we go allout from the kick-off. If we play well for the first 20 and the final 20 we will win. The away tactic of playing Ramsey gives no assistance to Giroud, we need width to exploit his talents. No Ox in this lineup – perhaps AW will start him in place of Wilshere as JW started at Goodison.

I could bore you with stats and tactics and permutations but there are others who do it so much better.

Our unbeaten run has coincided with the stories of derring-do from English Explorer’s. Coincidence? I think not…… Today’s chap is Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) Dalton was a botanist and explorer. Charles Darwin’s best friend and Director of Kew Gardens. Places he explored are many – Antarctica, the Himalayas, Australia, India, Tibet, Palestine, Morocco, the Western USA, the list is extensive but then he did live a long time. An exceptional man in an era of brave,  remarkable men and a man who enjoyed the full benefits of extensive facial hair!


A Lifelong Commitment to Facial Fuzz

This is a tough game and a severe test of our aspirations, a win will set us up for a Merry Xmas.. Come on Arsenal win it for SlimGingerGooner who today will enjoy his first trip to The Home of Football.


Written by Big Raddy